U.S., EU sanctions on Iran disregard work of Iran Six - Russian Foreign Ministry (Update 1)

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The latest unilateral U.S. and EU sanctions on Iran disregard the joint efforts of the Iran Six and the UN Security Council, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

The latest unilateral U.S. and EU sanctions on Iran disregard the joint efforts of the Iran Six and the UN Security Council, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

"We have repeatedly said that we consider unacceptable the practice of imposing unilateral or collective sanctions on Iran, which go beyond the boundaries of the UN Security Council's sanctions," Andrei Nesterenko said.

"It not only undermines our joint efforts on the political-diplomatic regulation of Iran's nuclear program, but also demonstrates a disregard for the precise and coordinated points of the UN Security Council resolution," he said.

Russia blocks any efforts to implement sanctions against companies and individuals that abide by the UN Security Council resolution, he went on.

Western powers suspect Iran of attempting to build nuclear weapons under the guise of civilian nuclear power generation.

On June 9, the UN Security Council passed a fourth round of sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, including tougher financial controls and an expanded arms embargo, as well as an asset ban on three dozen companies and a travel freeze on individuals.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers adopted extra sanctions against Iran, including new restrictions on the energy sector, foreign trade and financial services.

The sanctions, most of which came into force on Tuesday, will also ban exports to Iran of goods that may be used to make weapons.

The EU will also introduce new visa restrictions and freeze bank accounts belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. It may also prohibit Iranian banks from all activities in the EU, and Iran's IRISL freight carriers from entering EU waters.

The EU sanctions mirror unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran by the United States, which target Iranian banks operating abroad if there is any suspicion that they are pursuing the development of Tehran's nuclear program. The U.S. sanctions also target Iran's insurance and oil companies and expand a UN embargo on arms deliveries to Iran.

The U.S. and EU sanctions go further than the UN sanctions, which were softened to secure support of veto-wielding members Russia and China.

Iran was quick to respond to the new EU sanctions, saying they will not damage Tehran but will complicate the situation surrounding the country's nuclear program.

That view was echoed by Nesterenko, who said that the U.S. "restrictive measures" and the EU sanctions will only postpone a solution to Iran's nuclear issue.

Russia, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, has long opposed sanctions against the Islamic Republic, saying that the issue should be resolved through diplomatic means. However, Moscow finally approved the UN sanctions after Iran failed to prove the peaceful nature of its nuclear activities.

MOSCOW, July 27 (RIA Novosti)

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